A life beyond persecution in Afghanistan seems to be impossible to realize. Adversities come from all sides, and they face afflictions beyond imagination.
The only way to get out of persecution is to live a life without God. They will persecute all who desire to live a life in Christ Jesus (2 Tim 3:12). Thus, getting out of persecutions has a consequence of sin towards the end. It is not fleeing oppression physically. We all undergo persecutions in different scales. Truly escaping persecution is to have a life without God, living life in our own direction.
Living a life with God is having peace and joy amid trouble and oppression. It is a Christian life. What is the hope of a life beyond persecution in Afghanistan?
What Is It like to Live as a Christian in Afghanistan?
You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.Luke 21:16 (NIV)
Afghans who are followers of Jesus are hiding their faith and worshiping secretly. There are no physical churches in Afghanistan. They only worship and gather in house churches.
Kidnapping, beatings, and torture are routine for Afghan Christians. They even martyr Christians every year without public knowledge. They imprison some believers, and others emigrate to neighboring countries so they can worship openly. But, according to Voice of the Martyrs, Afghan house churches are growing.
Afghan Christians have seen and experienced God being near to them during this time of no support and protection. It led them to know what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit indwelling them gave them peace in their hearts. They know that despite what they are going through, God cares for them.
They look beyond their life now to the days to come, of what God promises and will be doing. They firmly stand on their faith and will not deny Jesus. Oppressed, but blessed with the grace and love of God, they have a hope of life beyond persecution in Afghanistan.
Stories from Christians in Afghanistan
according to Open Doors, Afghanistan has 60% violence in the persecution level.
Those who follow Jesus are in danger and must hide their faith in secret. The Islamic extremist groups, the Taliban, and even their own families threaten them. Being a Muslim is the center of the Afghan identity. They send Christians to mental hospitals for the insanity of leaving Islam. Even worst, their own families kill them for betrayal, according to Open Doors.
Christians who are bold enough to follow Jesus Christ in Afghanistan are the toughest believers in the world. They stand firm in their faith in Jesus Christ even when tortured, oppressed, and facing death. They will not deny Jesus Christ. These are the ones who have a hope of life beyond persecution.
The Story of Josef
Josef’s path to Christianity took him on a lengthy journey. He fled from his persecutors to unfamiliar countries and reached Europe. He was homeless, broke, depressed, tortured, bound, and deteriorated.
His only possession was a blue Bible and a wooden cross with the Sermon on the Mount written on it. His most prized possession was the papers of his conversion and baptism to Christianity, which they took when they discovered them. He had hidden from his persecutors under the basement of his friend’s house.
It was Jesus’ personality that impressed Josef. That Jesus came here to take our sins moved him. He fell in love with Jesus long before they baptized him. And he remained firm in his faith, even when death looms. He had the hope of life beyond persecution in Afghanistan. This is Christianity’s winning life.
Azam Ahmed wrote the full story of Josef (then changed his name for his protection) New York Times.
An Afghani Saw Jesus in a Vision
An Afghani believer came into the faith after he saw Jesus Christ in a vision. After he confessed his conversion, his family rejected him. Because of his testimony, he, his wife, and children went into hiding in a makeshift tent in the wilderness after they lost everything for following Jesus, according to IMPACT.
Missionaries Face Persecution in Afghanistan
The Groenewald family received a calling from the Lord to serve in Afghanistan. They knew there was a possibility of dying in that hostile country. But they counted it worthy of putting their lives on the line to serve the Afghans and die for Jesus Christ.
One day, the Taliban attacked Kabul while Hannelie was in a meeting with the other doctors. The actual attack was in her apartment. Her husband and her two children did not survive.
Three years after the attack, Hannelie will tell you it is well with her soul. It has not been easy for her to find peace, but the Lord is with her all the time. Hannelie is proud of the obedience of her family to Christ. And their sacrifice and service for the Afghans are for the glory of God.
Christian oppression has been perpetual maltreatment and torture in unfamiliar countries. But Christian converts learned to endure it patiently. They let the pain remind them of Jesus and all He went through for us. They keep faithful to their calling despite opposition. This faith in Christ gave them the strength to stand firm and have hope.